Ode to Oot
You always start off alone, dressed in green, and both suit you. You’ve done this before, though you’re not sure how you know this. Coming out of sleep, a part of you wonders if that dream, that nightmare was real, but only for a minute. This is your reality today, though the loneliness has stuck around. But there will be a reprieve, for a little while at least. You are the hero. That’s all you know, that’s all you’ll end up being. Sometimes you wish you could just keep sleeping, just be no one. And when you wake up, you realize you are still the outsider, the boy without a fairy, dropped into another life you don’t remember starting, right in the middle with actions you don’t remember taking, and it’s all a little overwhelming because you’re not starting at the beginning, though maybe the beginning is the dream that plays like a movie in your head while you sleep and that’s the beginning that matters because it’s the start of what is to come, and soon you will be the Hero of Time. That’s all you know. That’s all you are.
What gets you through the days and the nights? Do you think of her as you ascend mountains built on a lake of fire? Do you start to think about the after? Straddle that line between the life you have now and the life you hope for, and as time has told over and over, choices will have to be made because one cannot have both. That is a fool’s dream and besides, living in fantasy only distracts you from the goal at hand. Leaves room for failure and mistakes, but it is nice for now to think about what this is all done and you wonder if she thinks about the after too, thinks about the years you can spend getting to know each other, protecting her, learning about the world from her, watching sunsets along lakeshores or the tops of forest trees or over stone houses from a roof of the castle because, naturally, she’ll have to stay there and you will stay with her, if that is part of the after that is to come because that’s what romantic couples do. They stay together through it all and even if one person can’t leave, the other will give up everything because love is all that matters in a world where riches and fine clothes decay into nothing, and you’ve never been one to worry about riches, or love, because both seem to come to you at the end no matter how you go about finding the end. Though this might be a childish notion too as you climb towards fire and death, taking inventory of the offerings, careless droppings, gifts, prizes, rewards, and discovered chests of treasure you have come across already, your pockets clinking with each step and you hope that money won’t pull you apart, but enough now. These musings are distracting you from your task. Set your jaw, keep pushing on, because the princess is waiting for you to succeed, and the monsters are waiting for you to come and die.
Sometimes you are grateful for the places that haven’t been touched by greed and power. Beautiful and serene in the reflecting blue of the cavern walls. But in beauty there is ignorance and pure denial in outside evils. It is that vanity and naivety that will one day destroy this place from the inside out. A cold, slow kind of death, but for now, you are just grateful for one moment of peace in the past days of chaos and violence. In the water, you don’t want to like the fighting and the bloodlust. In water, you find the whole ordeal exhausting and so submit yourself to your back in the cold waters, ignoring the way in which you become completely soaked because you don’t care. You feel weightless and at ease, exhausted to the point where sleep will come easy and last all night, and you will hope that in your dreams you will live in the life you wish you had: returning to the forest to lounge mindlessly under forest trees, grass tickling the backs of your legs as the lost children of the wood sing to you and your green eyed friend, falling asleep together looking at the clouds in the sky. Other times, you wish your dreams would show you grown up, in love, having a family. Daughters who look like their mother and sons with your jaw and reserve. You’ve thought about having these choices because what you felt for those haunted blue eyes feels like love, but it didn’t feel like a choice and maybe that’s what was haunting her eyes and your heart, that she too didn’t have a choice in who she fell in love with. And sometimes love does that, where you’ll see someone and know they’re who you’re meant to love, but isn’t there supposed to be some mutual feeling that you want to fall in love with that person, not that you have to fall in love with that person? Is that what you did when you saw her, when she saw you, that you had to, not that you wanted to. And if neither of you wanted to, who would you then choose to fall for and fall hard and forever with? You float on your back, listening to the waterfall sloosh into the pool, a loud rush in your ears, and you pondering loving green eyes, ponder having daughters will red hair and sweet, taming voices, ponder having sons with your jaw and her haunting blue eyes.